Ethnic groups in London

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Crowd along Ladbroke Grove during the Notting Hill Carnival, 2006

London is one of the most ethnically diverse cities on earth. In 2007 there were over 300 languages spoken in it and more than 50 non-indigenous communities with a population of more than 10,000.[1]

At the 2011 census London had a population of 8,174,100. Of this number, 44.9% were White British. London is one of several large cities in the United Kingdom in which White Britons comprise less than half of the total population. 37% of the population were born outside the UK, including 24.5% born outside of Europe.[2]

Ethnic breakdown[edit]

2011 Census[edit]

Ethnic Group Population in London  % of London's population[3]
White 4,887,435 59.7
White British 3,669,284 44.9
White Irish 175,974 2.2
Irish Traveller 8,196 0.1
Other White 1,033,981 12.6
Ethnic Group Population in London  % of London's population[3]
Mixed 405,279 5.0
White and Black Caribbean 119,425 1.5
White and Black African 65,479 0.8
White and Asian 101,500 1.2
Other Mixed 118,875 1.5
Ethnic Group Population in London  % of London's population[3]
Asian 1,511,546 18.4
Indian 542,857 6.6
Pakistani 223,797 2.7
Bangladeshi 222,127 2.7
Chinese 124,250 1.5
Other Asian 398,515 4.9
Full or partial Asian descent (Asian and White and Asian) 1,613,046 19.6
Ethnic Group Population in London  % of London's population[3]
Black 1,088,640 13.3
Black African 573,931 7.0
Black Caribbean 344,597 4.2
Other Black 170,112 2.1
Full or partial Black descent (Black and White and Black) 1,273,544 15.6
Ethnic Group Population in London  % of London's population[3]
Other 281,041 3.4
Arab 106,020 1.3
Any other ethnic group 175,021 2.1
Distribution of ethnic groups in Greater London according to the 2011 census.
White 
Asian 
Black 
White-British (English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British) 
White-Irish 
White-Other 
Asian-Indian 
Asian-Pakistani 
Asian-Bangladeshi 
Asian-Chinese 
Black-African 
Black-Caribbean 
Other-Arab 

Black Population of London[edit]

At the 2011 census, the total Black population of London stood at 1,088,640.[3] This is a rise of 39% from the 2001 census, when the population stood at 781,751.

Inner London and Outer London have a near-equal black population. The 2011 census is the first time that the black population in Outer London has overtaken that of Inner London:

Black African Population Black Caribbean Population Other Black Population Total Black Population
Inner London 276,513 173,959 89,709 540,181
Outer London 297,418 170,638 80,403 548,459
London 573,931 344,597 170,112 1,088,640

The black population of London is mainly concentrated in the South London area. Southwark has the highest Black African population, Croydon has the highest Black Caribbean population and Lambeth has the highest total black population in London. The twenty London boroughs with the highest total Black population (Black African, Black Caribbean and Other Black) are listed below:

Rank London Borough Black African Population Black Caribbean Population Other Black Population Total Black Population
1 Lambeth 35,187 28,886 14,469 78,542
2 Southwark 47,413 17,974 12,124 77,511
3 Lewisham 32,025 30,854 12,063 74,942
4 Croydon 28,981 31,320 12,955 73,256
5 Newham 37,811 15,050 7,395 60,256
6 Brent 24,391 23,723 10,518 58,632
7 Hackney 27,976 19,168 9,714 56,8587
8 Enfield 28,222 17,334 8,131 53,687
9 Greenwich 35,164 8,051 5,440 48,655
10 Haringey 23,037 18,087 6,706 47,830
11 Waltham Forest 18,815 18,841 7,135 44,791
12 Barking and Dagenham 28,685 5,227 3,228 37,140
13 Ealing 17,299 13,192 6,369 36,860
14 Barnet 19,392 4,468 3,571 27,431
15 Islington 12,622 7,943 5,729 26,294
16 Redbridge 12,357 9,064 3,424 24,845
17 Hammersmith and Fulham 10,552 7,111 3,842 21,505
18 Merton 10,442 8,126 2,243 20,811
19 Hillingdon 11,275 4,615 4,192 20,082
20 Harrow 8,526 6,812 4,370 19,708

Asian Population of London[edit]

At the 2011 census, the total Asian population of London stood at 1,511,546.[3] This is a rise of 60% from the 2001 census, when the population stood at 947,425.

Outer London has a greater Asian population than Inner London:

Indian Population Pakistani Population Bangladeshi Population Chinese Population Other Asian Population Total Asian Population
Inner London 109,933 59,890 163,838 65,983 115,549 515,193
Outer London 432,924 163,907 58,289 58,267 282,966 996,353
London 542,857 223,797 222,127 124,250 398,515 1,511,546

The Asian population of London is concentrated across the city. Harrow has the highest Indian population, Redbridge has the highest Pakistani population and Tower Hamlets has the highest Bangladeshi and Chinese population. Newham has the highest total Asian population in London. The twenty London boroughs with the highest total Asian population (Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Chinese and Other Asian) are listed below.

Rank London Borough Indian Population Pakistani Population Bangladeshi Population Chinese Population Other Asian Population Total Asian Population
1 Newham 42,484 30,307 37,262 3,930 19,912 133,895
2 Redbridge 45,660 31,051 16,011 3,000 20,781 116,503
3 Brent 58,017 14,381 1,749 3,250 28,589 105,986
4 Tower Hamlets 6,787 2,442 81,377 8,109 5,786 104,501
5 Harrow 63,051 7,797 1,378 2,629 26,953 101,808
6 Ealing 48,240 14,711 1,786 4,132 31,570 100,439
7 Hounslow 48,161 13,676 2,189 2,405 20,826 87,257
8 Hillingdon 36,795 9,200 2,639 2,889 17,730 69,253
9 Haringey 36,795 9,200 2,639 2,889 17,730 69,253
10 Barnet 27,920 5,344 2,215 8,259 22,180 65,918
11 Croydon 24,660 10,865 2,570 3,925 17,607 59,627
12 Waltham Forest 9,134 26,347 4,632 2,579 11,697 54,389
13 Merton 8,106 7,337 2,216 2,618 15,866 36,143
14 Camden 6,083 1,489 12,503 6,493 8,878 35,446
15 Enfield 11,648 2,594 5,599 2,588 12,464 34,893
16 Wandsworth 8,642 9,718 1,493 3,715 9,770 33,338
17 Westminster 7,213 2,328 6,299 5,917 10,105 31,862
18 Greenwich 7,836 2,594 1,645 5,061 12,758 29,894
19 Barking and Dagenham 7,436 8,007 7,701 1,315 5,135 29,594
20 Southwark 5,819 1,623 3,912 8,074 7,764 27,192

Foreign Born Population[edit]

At the 2011 census, 36.7% of London's population was foreign born (including 24.5% born outside of Europe).[4] With 2,998,264 residents born abroad, London has the second highest foreign-born population of any city in the world.

Population born in the UK Population Foreign-Born
Inner London 1,867,723 1,364,178
Outer London 3,307,954 1,634,086
London 5,175,677 2,998,264
% born in the UK % Foreign-Born
Inner London 57.8 42.2
Outer London 66.9 33.1
London 63.3 36.7

Significant ethnic minority communities[edit]

Bangladeshis[edit]

A major wave of immigration began in the 1970s, as people from the Sylhet Division arrived in London, fleeing poverty and the Bangladesh Liberation War. Many settled around Brick Lane, where they entered the textile trade. This trade has declined causing unemployment, but the community has moved into other businesses, including restaurants and banking. The level of immigration peaked in 1986 and has since entered a decline with the introduction of harsher immigration laws.

The community remains concentrated around Bethnal Green and Whitechapel and has spread into other east London boroughs. London as a city is home to the single largest number of people of Bangladeshi origin outside of Bangladesh, with close to 200,000 individuals being of full Bangladeshi origin in 2007.

Chinese[edit]

Further information: British Chinese and Chinatown, London

Chinese people constitute the fourth largest Asian group in London (behind the Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis respectively); numbering 114,800 in 2007, they are spread more or less across the entire city and have become successful in British life, especially when it comes to cuisine. The history of the Chinese in London is long and complex, with the first Chinese people arriving in the city in the 19th century as sailors.

Ghanaians[edit]

Besides Nigerians, Ghanaians are one of the largest Black African groups in London, with the majority living in the boroughs of Southwark, Lambeth, Newham, Hackney, Haringey, Lewisham, Merton, Croydon, Enfield and Brent.[5]

Greeks[edit]

See also: Greek British

According to the "History of London's Greek community" by Jonathan Harris,[6] the Greek population of London numbered several thousand by 1870 AD whereas in 1850 AD it was just a few hundred. The 2001 Census recorded 12,360 Greek-born people living in London, with particular concentrations in the Hyde Park, Regent's Park, Chelsea and Kensington Census tracts.[7]

The Census tracts with the highest number of Cypriot-born people in 2001 were Palmers Green, Upper Edmonton, Cockfosters, Lower Edmonton, Tottenham North and Tottenham South.[8] Many Greek-Cypriots reside in Wood Green, Harringay and Palmers Green, the latter harbouring the largest community of Greek-Cypriots outside Cyprus, resulting in these areas bearing local nicknames whereby the Green is replaced by Greek – as in Greek Lanes and Palmers Greek.[9][10][11]

According to a City of London Corporation sponsored report,[12] there are between 280,600 and 310,000 Greek speakers in Greater London.

Indians[edit]

British Indians have long been one of London's largest ethnic minority groups and in 2007 over 500,000 Indians were residing in London (this excludes people of half or less Indian origin). Around 7% of London's population is of Indian origin. Indians have been in the British capital for generations and come from all walks of life.

Irish[edit]

Irish migration to Great Britain has a lengthy history due to the close proximity of, and complex relationship between, the islands of Ireland and Great Britain and the various political entities that have ruled them. Today, millions of residents of Great Britain are either from the island of Ireland or have Irish ancestry. Around six million Britons have an Irish grandfather or grandmother (approximately 10% of the UK population).[13] 900,000 ethnic Irish people live in the capital (12% of the city's population); despite this, some sources put the population of people of Irish descent in London at 77% (some five and a half million people), although the White British and White Irish populations combined are less than this.[14][15]

Although such claims are often exaggerated and the Irish coming to Britain were not all purely Gaelic in heritage many had mixed Irish and British or purely British origins. There is also the case historically of many Brits moving to Ireland and moving back to Britain; but as their families had lived in Ireland for many generations saw themselves as Irish and called themselves as such. Many Protestant Irish had also moved to Britain. It also doesn't take into account of millions of English leaving London for Ireland and other countries. Yet only 2.2% claim white Irish ethnicity so it seems many choose a white British ethnicity

Jamaicans[edit]

There are records that show Black people, predominantly from Jamaica, living in London during the 17th and 18th centuries; but it was not until the arrival of the Empire Windrush, on 22 June 1948, that significant numbers of Caribbeans, in particular Jamaicans, arrived in the capital. This has since become an important landmark in the history of modern multicultural Britain. During the post World War II era, the presence of these immigrants was requested to help reconstruct the British economy. Employers such as British Rail, the NHS and London transport recruited almost exclusively from Jamaica. Some 250,000 Londoners are of Jamaican origin.[16]

Japanese[edit]

Junko Sakai, author of Japanese Bankers in the City of London: Language, Culture and Identity in the Japanese Diaspora, stated that there is no particular location for the Japanese community in London, but that the families of Japanese "company men" have a tendency of living in North London and West London. Japanese restaurants and shops are located around these groups of Japanese people.[17]

Nigerians[edit]

London (in particular the southern boroughs) is home to the largest Nigerian community in the UK, and possibly the largest overseas Nigerian community in the world. The first Nigerians in London were those caught up in the slave trade over 200 years ago.

In the mid-20th century a wave of Nigerian immigrants came to London after hearing of the need for more skilled workers. Civil and political unrest in the country contributed to numerous refugees arriving in England.[18] The vast majority of famous and notable British people of Nigerian origin were either born in or now live in London.

Peckham (also known as Little Lagos and Yorubatown) is home to one of the largest overseas Nigerian communities in the world; many of the local establishments are Yoruba-owned. Nigerian churches and mosques can be found in the area. As immigrants become assimilated, English is becoming the predominant language of the local Nigerian British population. The Yoruba language is declining in use in the Peckham area despite the increasing Nigerian population.[19] In 2001, about 7% of Peckham's population was born in Nigeria.[20] A much larger proportion of the ward's 60% Black population is of Nigerian descent, as 40% are of other African descent.[21]

Pakistanis[edit]

Pakistanis in London form the largest concentrated community of British Pakistanis; immigration from regions which now form Pakistan predate Pakistan's independence.[22] The main concentrations of Pakistani settlement in London are found in Outer London with the boroughs of Redbridge, Newham and Waltham Forest accounting for nearly a third of Londoners of Pakistani Descent.

Turkish[edit]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Benedictus, Leo (2005-01-21). "Almost every race, colour, nation and religion on earth". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  2. ^ http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4bd95562-4379-11e2-a48c-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2EmHkrZcr
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Ethnic Groups in London". Census Update (Office for National Statistics) 2011: page 1. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "A summary of countries of birth in London". Census Update (Office for National Statistics) 2011: page 1. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2011. 
  5. ^ Ghanaian London. Books.google.co.uk. 2008. ISBN 978-0-7546-4841-3. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ "Born abroad: Greece". BBC. 2005-09-07. Retrieved 2008-12-07. 
  8. ^ "Born abroad: Cyprus". BBC. 2005-09-07. Retrieved 2008-12-07. 
  9. ^ "Things you didn't know about... Palmers Green", Yellow Pages
  10. ^ "Greek in Palmers Green", UKTV
  11. ^ "Palmers Green", Trusted Places
  12. ^ Philip Baker & John Eversley, Multilingual Capital, commissioned by City of London Corporation, published by Battlebridge 2000.
  13. ^ Bowcott, Owen (2006-09-13). "''Six million Britons are entitled to Irish citizenship''". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  14. ^ "Irish in London". Merseyreporter.com. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  15. ^ "Irish in London 2". BBC News. 2001-03-16. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  16. ^ "Jamaica Mapping Exercise". International Organization for Migration. Retrieved 2010-04-22. 
  17. ^ Sakai, Page unstated (PT67). "Although the Japanese have no precise geographical location for their community, they are connected with each other personally, and one of their geographical centres is the Japanese school in London, previously in North London and now in West Acton."
  18. ^ Nigerian London (2008-08-20). "Nigerian London". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  19. ^ "http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4182341.stm". BBC News. 2005-01-25. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  20. ^ "UK statistics on Nigerian-born people in Britain". BBC News. 2005-09-07. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  21. ^ Neighbourhood Statistics. "Pecham Ethnicity, 2001". Neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  22. ^ "Pakistani London". BBC. 2005-05-26. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]